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As a leader, it’s important to keep up with your team and constantly engage with them. By keeping the lines of communication open, you are giving your employees the opportunity to speak freely to address any comments, questions, or concerns. Communicating with them on the regular also helps you as a leader gage how their productivity and maybe some areas that could see improvement. The best way to do this is by having regular 1-on-1 meetings with the members of your team:

Keep The Topic Off You

It’s important to remember that these meetings are not about you, they are about your employees. Some leaders will make the mistake of using 1-on-1 meetings to talk all about hold a team member accountable or share updates about a project. This time should instead be used to cover what they want to talk about. Let them know about a week ahead that there will be a meeting and ask them to jot down what they want to talk about. It’s important to stick to that list and not venture from it. 

No Phones Allowed

In order to have a successful meeting, you need to be as present as possible. Our phones are a major distraction throughout the day and it’s important they are nowhere near in your meetings. Put the phone on silent, store away, and ask your employee to do the same. This will keep the meeting focused on what’s important without any distractions getting in the way. Even if it’s just a glance to check the time or message, it’s taking attention away from your employee. All of your effort and attention should be on the meeting.

It’s Not All About Business

When having a 1-on-1 meeting, it doesn’t have to be so cut and dry. Let the conversation happen naturally and don’t be afraid to talk about their personal life. Ask how they’re kids are doing or if they have anything else going on in their life. It allows your employees to feel appreciated as a person, not just a worker. This can help the meeting feel more comfortable and laid back, which can help them address any issues they may have easier and be more at ease with an open discussion.